Tuesday 31 August 2021

Evelyn Shursen - Stettler Anniversary Song/Here's To Alberta (1980)

Aha! An anniversary single that isn't country music! It's... easy listening? Choral? Evelyn Shursen's voice is near operatic on this, while songwriter and accompanist Elaine Hennel's piano and organ stylings on this ode to Stettler sound not unlike, well, our grade school music teacher. It's weird to think of this coming out in 1980 - it sounds like it came out of the 1940's.

But then, we've never been in step with the times.

Monday 30 August 2021

John Jarvis - Ponoka Proud: Seventy-Fifth Anniverary (1979)

Today's anniversary platter comes to us from Ponoka - and, yep, it's a country tune. As you tap your toes along to this one, you'll probably find yourself wondering a bit about the lyrics. Is that "God bless our town and keep it clean" or "Go bless our town and keep it free?" Please let us know which you think it is.

Get it here!

Sunday 29 August 2021

Various - Hats Off... To 100 Years - Medicine Hat Centennial Song (1983)

Well, we might as well give some love (?) to a few other Alberta municipalities and their anniversary records. This one comes from the good people of Medicine Hat - and their centennial celebration. The first side of this record is an upbeat country tune that plays on the town's name, while the B side is an instrumental version of the tune with a narrated story of the town - it's kind of dry and bureaucratic, and somewhat awkward. 

Hats off, indeed!

Saturday 28 August 2021

Hagood Hardy - Anthem for Canada/A Salute to Alberta's 75th Anniversary (1980)

Continuing the trend of non-Albertans "celebrating" Alberta (or maybe just cashing in on our history?), here's a pair of 7" records from composer Hagood Hardy that appear to have been commissioned by TransCanada Pipelines as part of the province's big 75th anniversary celebrations. The first two sides are a celebration of Canada, which is a bit weird. BUT the Alberta-themed compositions are big, bombastic slices of orchestral pop. 

Friday 27 August 2021

Tom Northcott - Alberta/Under The Sun (1971)

Here's another weird Alberta record - it looks like it was a promo piece to tie into a promo video for Alberta tourism (or something?). That Alberta logo kind of freaks us out - it's just close/far enough from the iconic 70's logo of the province to make us think something's askew with this.

What's also askew with this is that the songs are by Vancouver folk-rock icon Tom Nortcott. While they're a reasonable celebration, we wonder why they couldn't have found an Albertan for this job. Sheesh.

Anyways, you can snag it here

Sunday 22 August 2021

Buckin' String - Country Music/Alberta Alberta (1981)

We didn't expect to be able to find much about Buckin' String when we went looking for info on this country band... and you probably expected us to come up empty handed as well. BUT! We have something, even if it is brief and really only fills in the most basic of gaps. We almost though this whole single was a bit tongue in cheek until we read the scoop from Patrick Tivy (and look at that man - does he look like he'd lead us astray?):

Number 96 indeed

Saturday 21 August 2021

Lesley Schatz - Alberta Waltz (1988), To Each His Own (1988), The Way She Could Sing (1989)



Here's a song that showed up on the Alberta Dreams compilation we posted earlier this year - but don't worry, we've got some bonus content to shore things up. These three singles are from southern Alberta singer-songwriter Lesley Schatz; one is on our favourite singles label, Doug Wong Music, while the other is on Edmonton's DMT Records (most notable for, well, putting out two Reveen LPs). 

It's good to have the full credits for "Alberta Waltz" - they help explain why this track (and the B side, as well) is so solid. Aided by Cindy Church, David Wilke, and Nathan Tinkham, and recorded in Richard Harrow's Living Room Studios, this is a quality, well, waltz. Honest and unassuming, and quite good. Schatz sneaks in some more Alberta content on the B side of our third single, with the Tom Russell-penned song, "Alberta Blue." Which is a more upbeat song than its title suggests.

Get your double dose of Alberta here.

Friday 20 August 2021

Susan Smith - Coming Home To Alberta (1979), Just For The Night (1979)

Up next on our tour of Alberta-themed singles is a track (and a bonus single) from Susan Smith - who we can't find anything about. These are a pair of Doug Wong-produced singles, and they're a bit of a mix of styles. "Coming Home To Alberta" lands somewhere between AOR and country, while the B side of the second single, "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" has tinges of 70's funk-pop. As an aside, we're really not sure why that second single is only 50% MAPL - the label has an address in Calgary, so surely should count? 

Our apologies for the audio quality on "Coming Home To Alberta" - our copy of that single was found sandwiched between two pieces of sandpaper. Or at least sounds like it. But you can still get it here.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Ivan Daines - Alberta You're A Lady/Old Woman From San Angelo (1976), I Don't Mind/In Springtime Alberta (1977)

Since we were just talking Calgary-themed records, it's probably also a good time to talk Alberta-themed singles. So, we'll kick off with another single from Ivan Daines. This one probably should have been included in all those other Westmount singles a couple of months ago. BUT! We wanted to pad out this Alberta section. And we're also trying to pad this post, since we don't have anything to add about Ivan Daines that we haven't mentioned before.

BUT! We've added in a second Daines single that came out on Westmount Records. The A side is an ode to the normalcy of cowboy life, but the B side is... another Alberta song! "In Springtime Alberta" is a sweet little love song, calling love back to our fair province. 

Friday 13 August 2021

Susan Raye - Calgary International Airport (1977)

Well, here's a fun one to kick off the weekend. It seems that when the Calgary International Airport opened its newly upgraded passenger terminal in 1977, CFAC commissioned American country singer Susan Raye to re-record her hit, "LA International Airport." We're assuming that they got a bit of a bargain on this, as the song was originally a hit six years earlier - but we're not judging. That much. This single-sided 7" is pretty neat (although juxtaposing the lyrics from LA to Calgary does seem to take away from the sexiness of the original), but the picture of the terminal on the back cover is what's really got us fascinated - and longing for the days when we didn't have to show up at the airport 90 minutes in advance to clear security and customs.

Let's fly away!

Thursday 12 August 2021

Gary Buck - Calgary, Alberta/Honey (1968)

Well, we're back at our old tricks, and posting stuff we've already seen before, just in a different format. This great song by the legendary country singer Gary Buck also shows up on the Alberta Dreams compilation tape, but we NEED you to have this one as well. "Calgary, Alberta" is nicely specific in terms of proving our location, and is a pretty good tune, to boot. 

Get it here!

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Ray Griff - Calgary, Calgary/That Old Montana Moon (1987)

We're going to bet the A side of this slab of vinyl was part of the Song for Calgary competition. Ray Griff was a legendary songwriter and singer, and the two sides of this single certainly show his range. The B side is a pretty standard country number but the A side... well, you know the classic "New York, New York?" "Calgary, Calgary" is Griff's lounge-y homage to that tune AND to our fair city. It's kind of a weird tune, and there probably weren't many Song for Calgary entries like it.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Jimmy Keith - Calgary Cowboy/Kate & Edith (1980)

Now HERE'S a Calgary song we can get behind. "I'm tired of being a Calgary Cowboy," croons Jimmy Keith, "I wanna be a Disco King!" This novelty track somehow mixes country with a subtle disco beat, and doesn't outstay its welcome at two and a half minutes, leaving us with: "It's what? Dead? How about that punk rock, then? I have to put a safety pin WHERE?" The B side is an overly-elaborate set up for the pun, "You can't have your Kate & Edith too." Still, if we were to ever DJ a Stampede party, we'd definitely be using the A side in our set at some point.

Monday 9 August 2021

Sidewinder - Throwin Gold (In Calgary) (1981), One Of Those Nights (1981)

We were pleasantly surprised by this single by Calgary's Sidewinder. The A side is less an unabashed tribute to the Stampede city and more a cautionary take of the excesses of blowing your salary on a weekend of fun. Which is something the 20-something-year-old version of Gene Poole knows a LOT about.

As a bonus, we've packaged this up with a second Sidewider single. These are both pretty good country boogie records - we can totally see why they would have been a popular bar band around town in the early 80's. 

Get it here!


Sunday 8 August 2021

Terri Layne - Calgary/I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Well, this one we're pretty sure isn't related to the Song for Calgary contest. Mostly because the only references  we could find to Terri Layne were from the early 1970's when she was a dinner singer:

"Out here on the prairies, high above the sea/Snuggled in front of the Rocky Mountains is my home, Calgary," Layne sings on this honest little ditty. Given the photo above, we wouldn't have expected this to be a country song - but Calgary's never been a hotspot for soul singers.

Get it here!

Saturday 7 August 2021

Adrian Kaufmann & Brenda Duffield - Calgary: The Song (1988)

This one is weird, and not just the musical content. This Song for Calgary appears to come out of Lethbridge! We can't find out ANYTHING about either the singers or songwriters on this slab of soft rock. 

So we offer it up simply for your enjoyment.

Friday 6 August 2021

Colonel J. Fred Scott Elementary School - Calgary - A Symphony! (1987)

We're going to spend a bit of time celebrating songs that celebrate our city. The 1980's - and especially the run up to the 88 Olympics and the Song for Calgary contest - led to a lot of, uh, interesting recordings that feature the city. Today's is the partner to the song that ultimately won, the deeeeeelightful "Neighbours of the World" (which is still on the books as the official song of Calgary), as there was also a school-based competition for the Song for Calgary. Coming straight outta Whitehorn, Col. J. Fred Walker School were the winners - although with assistance from Paulo. 

We note that this release also brings together a few of our local favourites; it was recorded by Sundae Sound's Rob Bartlett and Frank Lockwood, and was released by Doug Wong Music. 

Thursday 5 August 2021

Abjection - Malignant Deviation (2021)

One more new tape, then back into the singles! This one called out to us from the counter at Melodiya, and when Eddie told is it features the Weir's Sergey Jmourovski, we knew we had to grab it. Abjection is only partly a Calgary band; this is a pandemic project that Jmourovski spearheaded, with musicians in Calgary, BC, and... Australia? Rather than the Weir's slowly crushing sludgy metal, Abjection are quickly pummeling death metal, much more like locals Wake - which probably makes sense, given it's Wake drummer Josh Bueckert playing on here.

You might be able to grab a tape over at Melodiya; if not, the download is available thru Godz Ov War.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Jairus Sharif - Mega Optics (2021)

We're most familiar with Jairus Sharif as one of the friendly faces behind the counter at Recordland, so we were really interested in this tape he's been working on during the pandemic. Our minds are kind of blown after listening thru this - Sharif mixes elements of free jazz, krautrock, and experimental electronica to create an auditory wonderland. There's an excellent, short interview with him at It's Psychedelic Baby that gives a quick view into what went into creating this tape - we have many other questions we want to ask, most notably, "did we dream this?" This is an excellent tape, well worth picking up.

Get it via Sharif's bandcamp.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Goldie - EP2 (2021)

We can't remember if we tagged the first Gawdie tape, released last year, as Miscellany or not. And we're too lazy to check. And we live on inconsistency, as you know... So! Onwards with this tape from Calgarian-living-in-Montreal Sara Hughes. This tape is similar to her first collection of synth pop - but feels more cohesive. Listening to this on the heels of yesterday's Wish Lash tape, it's tempting to make comparisons between the two collections of electronica. Gawdie is more traditional synthpop, not as experimental as Wish Lash - but still has elements of ambience and a dark undercurrent to keep it interesting. The four songs go by too quickly - this is one of those things that is over just as we're getting settled in, leaving us wanting just a bit more.

Get it via the Gawdie bandcamp.

Monday 2 August 2021

Wish Lash - True Deceiver (2021)

We've got a small pile of tapes that we need to share with you before we get back into the 7" singles. We're going to start with the one we're probably the most excited about, the first full-length from Kerry Maguire's Wish Lash. Recorded two years ago during her National Music Centre residency, this tape deepens Wish Lash's sonic palette with the centre's rich collection of vintage synthesizers.Our favourite track on here is "Cyberromantics," which builds through a series of valleys and peaks of ambient pads, ethereal vocals, and hypnotic beats. Highly recommended.

Get it via the Glow Code bandcamp.